OpenDrive’s highly customizable plans let you save your documents to the cloud, as well as sync and share files across multiple devices. This online backup service now also integrates productivity features, such as notes and tasks. On the other hand, its interface offers less help than many competitors when it comes to configuring backup settings, and it doesn’t offer continuous backup or any local backup abilities. Furthermore, our testing shows that OpenDrive can be slow to perform its backups.
Pricing, Plans, and Getting Started
OpenDrive has straightforward pricing plans. A free personal account gets you 5GB storage for one user with bandwidth limited to 1GB per day, individual file size limited to 100MB, and upload speeds capped at 200KB/s. Thankfully, the free account requires just an email address and password—you don’t have to give credit card information to get started. The Personal Unlimited plan removes those upload restrictions and opens up unlimited storage for an unlimited number of devices. It costs $9.95 per month or $99 per year. The personal plans also include a limited number of notes and tasks for project management purposes. To get unlimited notes and tasks, you need to pay $29.95 per month or $299 per year for OpenDrive’s Unlimited Business Plan.
There’s also a Custom plan that lets you choose your storage allowance, bandwidth, and the number of users. Custom plans start at $5 per month for 500GB, while each additional user costs another $1 per month. Keep in mind that the price jumps up quickly as you increase either the amount of storage or the bandwidth. For example, a custom plan with 1TB of storage and 2 users costs the same as the Personal Unlimited plan.
In comparison, Editors’ Choice IDrive‘s 2TB plan only costs $69.50 per year. Backblaze and Carbonite offer unlimited storage for $50 and $60 per year, respectively.
OpenDrive has client software for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, as well as a plugin for WordPress. It also offers WebDAV and an API for the developers out there. Linux users are confined to using the web interface.
The desktop client is where you automatically back up newly added files and set up synced folders. It installed on our test PC quickly, though it does require a restart. You can log into the desktop app using the credentials you create on the
The main application is OpenDrive’s virtual drive view, which looks like a regular File Explorer window. This interface lets you open the sync and backup menu, start a backup, access your settings on the web, and create or delete folders. Right-clicking on a file brings up a helpful Properties menu with access to sharing links and previous file versions. There is, however, some lag when moving between folders. The separate Sync and Backup Manager
OpenDrive doesn’t provide consumers much in the way of guidance in choosing what and how to back up. As it is, the software drops you right into the process. It’s a far cry from the procedure-driven wizard dialogue of SOS Online Backup. To back up data, you either upload via the web interface, add files from the File Explorer interface, or create a new task in the bare-bones desktop window.
With OpenDrive, you manage all tasks with the Sync and Backup manager, from which you can choose Backup, Synchronization, and Move tasks. The descriptions are somewhat confusing, but in general, you should use the Backup option for most data.
Backup acts as you might expect. OpenDrive stores the original files online, and when you make any edits locally, it uploads the file again with the changes. The Synchronization option hosts files in a shared folder and mirrors any files changes across devices; this is similar to the way DropBox works.
OpenDrive is the only service we’ve tested that can’t default to cloud backup. You need to select either the main OpenDrive folder or a subfolder each time you set up a backup. Notably, local backup targets are not an option, which is vital for when you don’t have an internet connection or a server goes offline. We’d also rather have it just mirror the hard drive structure, as other services do, rather than selecting folders for backup one at a time.
The next step is choosing an upload schedule. The first and last options here, Permanently and Manual Start, are confusing. The program describes them as “the task will be launched again” and “the task will remain idle until manually restarted,” respectively. To clarify, Permanently means the data will be backed up every 30 seconds, whereas Manual files are backed up only on demand. In between those two choices are the more obvious Hourly and Daily options, the latter of which is the default. SOS and Carbonite watch folders for changes and upload them immediately—we prefer this continuous backup system.
In the next step, you can filter by the type of content with either the exclude or include options. In both sections, you can add a custom filter for different file extensions. There’s also the option to control backups based on creation date and the size of files.
We had no trouble backing up files stored on external USB and network drives with OpenDrive. But note that OpenDrive will not work for backing up your entire system as the backup window doesn’t even let you add the whole C: drive. The highest up the file hierarchy you can select is an individual user profile.
For performance testing, we timed OpenDrive’s backup speed by uploading two 100MB sets of mixed files of mixed content types and
OpenDrive took 3:39 (
Using the Web Interface
OpenDrive presents a functional and well-designed web interface. Immediately after signing in, the browser shows a page with a big drag-and-drop target and a folder tree. There’s a persistent sidebar on the left for switching between files, notes, task, and users, with a settings shortcut on the bottom. A menu with a standard array of upload, download, and file management options lives on the top right, though this changes contextually based on the window that is currently open.
When you drag a photo onto the drop target, a progress bar appears, and then the image becomes accessible. Usually, the thumbnail took a few minutes to appear in the file browser online in our testing, though opening it in a new file tab didn’t cause any problems once the upload completed.
Right-clicking on the file brings up a context menu with the option to share, edit, or view the file properties, where you can set a password or change viewing permissions. Clicking on the photo opens it up in a new tab with the option to download, share, rotate or see its details. You can also listen to audio files and edit documents (thanks to Zoho Office integration) from the web interface, though you can’t play videos.
Sharing a file with OpenDrive is merely a matter of copying a link from a properties dialog. There’s no slick integration with social networking, but you can share a file via email by right-clicking on it in the web interface. You can also share synced folders between other computers. One other collaboration tool is the web client’s Request feature, which lets you allow an approved contact to upload files directly to online storage.
With OpenDrive, the only way to get data back is by downloading files from the web or by dragging and dropping them out of OpenDrive’s File Explorer interface. Depending on your internet connection, the former method can take a while. The service doesn’t let you recreate a whole system, as Carbonite can, nor can you download your entire backup set in one easy operation. OpenDrive doesn’t have a disaster recovery service either, so if your hard drive breaks beyond repair, the web interface is your only option.
By default, file versioning was turned off, but you can change this in the OpenDrive account dialog. Even after we turned it on, though, the number of versions defaulted to zero. You can increase it to 99, and once you go past the number of versions you’ve chosen, it deletes any older versions for good.
Limited Mobile Support
We tested OpenDrive’s Android app on a Google Pixel. It offers an iOS app as well, but it’s worth noting that it hadn’t been updated in over a year at the time of this writing. The app is well designed, but it lacks some important features. The primary interface closely mirrors the File Explorer window from the web portal. There’s a search bar across the top of the app as well as a material-design Plus button in the bottom right for creating new folders or adding photos from the camera or gallery. It’s odd that you can’t upload any other types of files with this interface, or set your photos to backup automatically.
Swiping left on any file brings up options to rename, share, download, or delete it from your backup. You can play audio files and preview photos in the app, but it makes you download documents and videos to use with other apps on your phone. The settings section is more of an information panel and only includes a Delete Offline Files option. However, there’s no explanation of what this does, nor any additional confirmation once you click it.
Is OpenDrive for You?
If flexible storage options are important to you, then OpenDrive could be a worthwhile option. However, its shortcomings include a disjointed desktop experience, a convoluted backup process, and slow upload performance. You’ll find more intuitive software, faster uploading, and better features in PCMag’s Editors’ Choice solutions Acronis True Image, IDrive, and SOS Online Backup.